class reunion pool party reason to get naked in front of her is coming up soon. While brushing your teeth this morning you noticed in the mirror some way too much belly jiggle. In fact, you had to wipe dripped toothpaste off that smuggled beach ball.
We need to turn this thing around, fast. Because lets be honest, is there ever a good reason not to get naked?
So how do we turn this negative into a positive?
By adding negative calorie foods into our diet. (Sweet transition, right?)
A hot topic recently is the concept of eating negative calorie foods to lose weight. This quick article will tell you what they are, and how you can use them to… get ready for the shameless plug… lose weight and gain energy.
“Negative calorie” as written about here, is a term used for foods that take more energy to digest and process than they provide the body.
Lets take a bowl of fibrous vegetables for example. Let’s throw some spinach or romaine lettuce in a big bowl with some tomatoes, peppers, cucumber, sprouts, and some slices of fresh mushroom.
The calories contained in this bowl of vegetables may be around 150.
Since most of the contents have thick, fibrous bodies to break down and digest, your body will need a lot of energy to do the work. The energy (fuel) for the work of breaking down and digesting is the calories already stored in your body.
Eating the vegetables starts the process- chewing needs energy, swallowing needs energy, the processes of the stomach need energy. Lets say the sum total of the demand on the body is 250 calories.
And the Magic of Negative Calorie Foods…
This leaves you with negative 100 calories. Now, you have 100 calories less, stored in your body.
Can you see how this would help with weight loss?
We always recommend getting a moderate amount of fibrous vegetables in your diet*
Not only do they provide negative calories, but they make you feel full, resulting in less total calories eaten. They contain boatloads of nutrients (a pat of butter or a spoonful of olive oil actual help absorb these nutrients).
Of course, you can never count out the potential cancer protective properties!
* Potential embarrassment and grief disclaimer. Moderation is key and adding them in slowly over the course of days and weeks is advised. Eat these vegetables along with other foods. Chew them thoroughly and drink plenty of water. If you’re not used to eating much fiber or fibrous vegetables, it can be a shock to your digestive system. We want to avoid the gas, bloating and diarrhea that can happen if you’re overzealous.
My favorite negative calorie foods:
Broccoli, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Endives, Garlic, Green beans, Green cabbage, Lettuce, Onions, Radishes, Spinach, Turnips, Zucchini.
Buy local and natural. Get vegetables as close to the source and as natural as possible. Shop at local farmers markets in your area or the outskirts of the grocery store and choose what is in- season. The next best choice would be frozen selections which actually don’t lose much nutrient wise.
Side note: The foods that are healthy and best for supporting weight loss are typically found on the outskirts of the grocery store. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, poultry, eggs and fish.
Negative calorie foods are a great way to amplify your caloric deficit in combination with our triad of fat burning- nutrition, resistance training and cardio.
Bonus Tip: Keep Some Green Apples On Hand. (The Green Apple Mini-Project)
I remember going to a Christmas Party a few years back in NYC. It was held at a friends house who I’ve given countless fitness tips to over the years.
Of course we ate, drank and had a good time.
The best part came when he went to the kitchen and pulled out a bag of green apples to show myself and the group. He went on to explain that he had read about how they can help quell cravings in black book of secrets. Awesome.
He told a story about how he tried it for the first time. He was going out with his wife for dinner at a fancy Italian restaurant- his favorite.
When he was getting dressed in his “going out gear”, he noticed his pants fit a bit tighter than before.
Needless to say this frustrated him.
But he turned that frustration against itself and made some wise choices.
He remembered what I had said, that if you eat a green apple or two before going for a meal, you’d have less desire to binge. So sure enough, on the way down town to the restaurant in the West Village, he picked up 2 green apples at the stand on the corner. He chomped them both down in the cab.
The Green Apple (mini) Project Begins…
Here’s what happened- not fully believing in the power of the green apple, he ended up ordering baked clams and a plate of Chicken Parmagiana that came with a huge plate of pasta, with sauce. (Not to mention the bucket of fresh bread on the table).
The Green Apple (mini) Project Results?
He ate all the clams, half of the Chicken Parmagiana plate, no pasta and no bread.
Now, here’s the best part…
He was excited that he had no desire for the rest of the food. He probably saved himself 800 calories!
Another benefit he (and his wife especially) enjoyed was that after dinner, he wasn’t full and bloated from an over log of carbs. They went out to a club and danced for a few hours.
Sounds like the Green Apple (mini) Project was a success to me.
This brings me to another moral of the story here. It doesn’t necessarily take a huge overhaul of your eating habits to create small consistent changes like adding in negative calorie foods.
Don’t go crazy changing your entire lifestyle in one day. There’s no need to decide you’re going to cut out EVERY bad food from here on out. You immediately put yourself in a position that is difficult to operate from.
The better way of going about losing weight is to change small factors of your diet each day. It could be something as small as an apple of two- like my friend has realized.
He saved himself a few hundred calories with one decision. If he were to implement one such decision each day, he’d be losing fat regularly- without a drastic lifestyle change.